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SBD Global/March 22, 2013/Franchises
Businessman Mike Charlesworth Takes Control Of A-League's Central Coast Mariners
Published March 22, 2013
SEALING THE DEAL: In Sydney, Ray Gatt reported that Charlesworth confirmed that "the deal was almost done." He said, "I would expect that 99 percent of it will be signed off in the morning, as soon as the documents are drawn up by the lawyers. It is a positive outcome. I cannot believe that anyone would stop this going ahead at this moment in time. All the major issues have now been sorted and everyone wants to do the deal" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/22). Also in Sydney, Tom Smithies reported the deal means that Turnbull's stake "diminishes once the deal is signed off" Friday morning, while fellow shareholder Gorman -- the Wanderers' executive chairman -- "will exit the club." Turnbull admitted his relief Thursday night "after spending years keeping the Mariners afloat." Turnball said, "Mike, Lyall and I have always placed top priority on the good of the Mariners and Central Coast football" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/22).
FINANCIAL PROBLEMS: ABC NEWS' Michelle Brown reported the drama at the Central Coast is "the latest in a short A-League history hampered by financial insecurity." While int'l marquee players including Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono "have lifted the profile of the game, generating cash for clubs is an ongoing problem." A-League CEO Damien de Bohun said that investment in the A-League "is buying into the world's most popular game and remains an attractive, long-term proposition." De Bohun said, "As a long-term investment, the fundamentals are strong. Major League Soccer in America followed a similar trajectory in its early years, but is now a booming business model" (ABC NEWS, 3/21).